Ukraine’s economy to recover in two years after war, Zelenskyy's adviser says
Oleh Ustenko, an economic adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Photo via

Ukraine's economy should return to pre-war levels within two years after the end of the war with Russia, a presidential aide believes.

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Oleh Ustenko, an economic adviser to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, spoke on Freedom TV channel of damage dealt to Ukraine’s economy due to Russia’s full-scale aggression.

He estimated the direct losses of Ukraine’s economy at USD 750 billion, adding that the figure exceeds USD 1 trillion, "just a huge amount of money" if so-called indirect losses are taken into account.

"The financing [for recovery] will come first from the seized funds of the Russian Federation, which is USD 300 billion of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, plus USD 150 billion of funds held by Russian elites. That is, we are talking about an amount of about half a trillion dollars," Mr Ustenko said.

Zelenskyy’s aide explained that the remaining half a trillion dollars should be the contributions and reparations that Russia would pay to Ukraine over a long period of time. This will contribute to the return of Ukraine’s economy to pre-war levels within two years, he added.

"That is, if the war should happen to end tomorrow, then by the beginning of April plus two years, the country's economy should fully reach its pre-war level," Mr Ustenko believes.

"But what will be pre-war in terms of finances is one aspect of the issue, and the fact that it will be a completely new system is another."

However, such an estimate is not shared across the board. Ukraine’s first deputy minister in charge of economy, Yuliia Svyrydenko, gave a more pessimistic outlook last week, saying that Ukraine might need five to seven years to return to pre-war quality of life and income, a period that will depend on access to EU structural funds and investment.

"But, of course, if we have investments of USD 50 to 70 billion [per year], we can grow by 7% annually and, of course, we will go through this recovery time faster," she added.